Ares Design Panther upgraded with new gearbox

Miss the joy of an open-gated Lamborghini manual? Now it's back – sort of…

By Matt Bird / Tuesday, April 20, 2021 / Loading comments

Remember the Ares Design Panther? It was the Modenese coachbuilder’s interpretation of a De Tomaso Pantera for the 21st century, using a Lamborghini Huracan as its base. Pretty incredible it looked, too. In 2018 Ares announced that all 21 cars were spoken for and that sort of seemed to be that – Ares could get on with its next reimagination project. But here the Panther is, updated to “amplify the driving experience of its owners” and with a new price as well. Seems like those who might be interested can still get one…

The new gearbox is the biggest news for the Panther PreogettoUno, an electro-actuated manual gear stick lever. Or, to give it its proper and much more appealing name, Leva Cambio Manual Elettroattuata. The Lamborghini dual-clutch unit remains, albeit now with sequential control possible via the open-gated shifter. The paddles are still operated, just through the lever, also including neutral, park and reverse. As the Huracan never offered with an H-pattern gearbox, this might be as close as any buyer will ever get to matching that mesmerising V10 with some level of manual control. Whether they will want to, of course, is another matter entirely.

Additional modifications for the Panther include a new exhaust with a “distinctive and throaty sound” and three settings, plus larger rear wheels – now 21 inches in diameter. Made from billet aluminium, they’re lighter and stiffer than the previous rims.

If that sounds more like your cup of tea, Ares is more than happy to oblige. There’s even a new price for the Panther: €334,900. Which, er, excludes the VAT. And the Huracan from which it’ll be built. At current exchange rates, that’s £402k plus a Huracan, the very cheapest of which start at £120k. So comfortably more than half a million, basically. Which means the new price is quite a lot like the old price, the Panther first confirmed at £555k three years ago. Will the pseudo manual be enough to convince prospective buyers? Would you?

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